Compression styles and bar diameters
You may have noticed that scooter bars are available in different diameters. To understand this, it is important to first understand that there are different styles of headset compression. There are three main compression styles, and these will determine which bar diameter you need.
First is IHC compression. With this simple and popular style, a compression bolt is tightened down into the forks to compress the headset, then the bars are secured on top. Second is HIC compression. HIC works in a similar way to IHC, however an oversize shim is tightened over the fork before sliding the bars on top. Third is SCS compression. With this style of compression, the lower half of the clamp holds the forks and headset in place, while the upper half of the clamp holds the bars.
So what does this have to do with my bars?
Bars are available in two main diameters, standard and oversized. This sizing refers to the external diameter of the downtube that joins onto the rest of the scooter. Standard bars have an external diameter of 31.8mm while oversized bars have a diameter of 34.9mm. So which bars do you need? Standard sized bars work with IHC and SCS compression setups, while oversized bars (which require an oversize clamp) are compatible with HIC setups and most SCS setups.
While bars being used with IHC and HIC compression require a slit cut in the bar to allow the clamp to tighten, bars being used with SCS compression must not have a slit (alternatively an SCS bar adapter can be used).
Bars are also available in a range of materials, most commonly alloy, aluminium and titanium. Alloy are the most common and cost effective option, while aluminium bars offer a weight saving and titanium bars are lighter again, though they generally sport a higher price tag.
Another point to note is that there's a bit more to consider than just the weight of the material. Typically, alloy bars are available in either standard or oversized diameters. However, as a result of the manufacturing process to ensure strength, aluminium bars have a standard inner diameter but an oversize external diameter, making them compatible with IHC and SCS compression setups and requiring the use of an oversized clamp. Aluminium bars are not compatible with HIC. Titanium bars are oversized, making them compatible with SCS and with the use of an oversized clamp, compatible with HIC and IHC (IHC will require an oversize shim).
IHC: Undersize bars.
HIC: Oversize bars, not compatible with aluminium bars.
SCS: All bars with no slit or SCS bar adapter.
The final feature to look for in your new bars is the height and width that suits you. If you are unsure of what size you need, head over to our scooter size guide for more information.
Measuring your current scooter bars can give a good reference point when choosing the size you need. If needed, we can also cut bars down to size before we dispatch them to you, just let us know what you need!